When the earthquake in Haiti occurred last year, I took a moment to think about those who had lost their homes and loved ones, but went back to my everyday life of grad school. I didn’t check the news obsessively to see what was being done, how the survivors were coping, or how this was effecting the large Haitian population in Boston. Instead, I studied for a final exam that was worth the majority of my grade, panicking about what essay question was going to be asked. And when that exam was over, I went out for drinks with my friends, and we agreed to send a check to the American Red Cross in aid of the earthquake survivors. Check sent, conscience clear, on with life.
Today was different.
I woke up this morning to hear that an earthquake occurred in Japan. Earthquakes are quite normal in Japan, but what was measured at an 8.9 magnitude stopped me from pressing “brew” on my Keurig.
I am half Japanese. And not your, “hey, my great-great-great aunt twice removed is Japanese so I’m going to call myself ‘half,'” but my mother is literally ‘off the boat.’ I’m what we call in Japanese culture “Nisei,” second generation Japanese American. Needless to say, hearing about the earthquake on WBUR concerned me. And before they finished the story, I was on the phone with my mother to see how my grandmother was.
And then the tsunami hit.
For some reason, when I heard that an earthquake occurred, I just didn’t think of a tsunami being a possibility. Perhaps I was tired. Maybe I was pre-coffee. But when I was told that it had happened, I was floored.
I feel like to write about what I baked the other day just doesn’t have a place right now on the internet. Not when I have friends and family that are experiencing crisis, in the country that is very dear to my heart, and part of my heritage.
I can only hope that your loved ones are safe, warm and have full bellies.
If you would like to donate in aid to the crisis in Japan, Google Crisis Response is an excellent place to start. One can even donate directly to the Japanese Red Cross, which in my opinion, is better than donating to the American Red Cross, as the funds will be specifically used in Japan.
*The above photo is my mother and grandmother at the Chrysanthemum Festival last year.